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Molecules 2012, 17(5), 5780-5794; doi:10.3390/molecules17055780

Luffa echinata Roxb. Induces Human Colon Cancer Cell (HT-29) Death by Triggering the Mitochondrial Apoptosis Pathway

1
Department of Internal Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Haping Road 150 of Nangang District, Harbin 150081, China
2
Department of Medical Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Gangwon 200-701, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 March 2012 / Revised: 9 May 2012 / Accepted: 11 May 2012 / Published: 16 May 2012
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Abstract

The antiproliferative properties and cell death mechanism induced by the extract of the fruits of Luffa echinata Roxb. (LER) were investigated. The methanolic extract of LER inhibited the proliferation of human colon cancer cells (HT-29) in both dose-dependent and time-dependent manners and caused a significant increase in the population of apoptotic cells. In addition, obvious shrinkage and destruction of the monolayer were observed in LER-treated cells, but not in untreated cells. Analysis of the cell cycle after treatment of HT-29 cells with various concentrations indicated that LER extracts inhibited the cellular proliferation of HT-29 cells via G2/M phase arrest of the cell cycle. The Reactive oxygen species (ROS) level determination revealed that LER extracts induced apoptotic cell death via ROS generation. In addition, LER treatment led to a rapid drop in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) as a decrease in fluorescence. The transcripts of several apoptosis-related genes were investigated by RT-PCR analysis. The caspase-3 transcripts of HT-29 cells significantly accumulated and the level of Bcl-XL mRNA was decreased after treatment with LER extract. Furthermore, the ratio of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis genes (Bax and Bcl-2) was sharply increased from 1.6 to 54.1. These experiments suggest that LER has anticancer properties via inducing the apoptosis in colon cancer cells, which provided the impetus for further studies on the therapeutic potential of LER against human colon carcinoma.
Keywords: Luffa echinata Roxb.; apoptosis; Bax/Bcl-2; cell cycle; reactive oxygen species (ROS) Luffa echinata Roxb.; apoptosis; Bax/Bcl-2; cell cycle; reactive oxygen species (ROS)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shang, L.-H.; Li, C.-M.; Yang, Z.-Y.; Che, D.-H.; Cao, J.-Y.; Yu, Y. Luffa echinata Roxb. Induces Human Colon Cancer Cell (HT-29) Death by Triggering the Mitochondrial Apoptosis Pathway. Molecules 2012, 17, 5780-5794.

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